The Exo Terra Sub Stratum is collected from the mineral-rich foothills of the Aso Volcano in Japan. The natural volcanic soil, formed from andesitic and rhyolitic tephra, is very nutrient rich, ideal for lush plant growth in bioactive planted terrariums.
The porous surface allows for excellent drainage and aeration, supporting strong root growth. The Sub Stratum’s friable, low density structure promotes a flourishing population of beneficial, nitrifying bacteria, creating a self-sustaining, living terrarium ecosystem. The active beneficial bacteria of the soil will decompose biological waste, keeping the terrarium clean and healthy.
3 Ways to use Sub Stratum
As a sole substrate
As a drainage layer
Mixed in with other substrates
When Exo Terra’s Sub Stratum is used as the sole substrate, add a layer of 1-2″ (2,5 – 5 cm) to the terrarium. The live bacteria will activate when the substrate comes in contact with water or waste. The organic matter such as left over food and animal waste will decompose over time. The absorbing properties of volcanic ash will eliminate odours by trapping the decomposed materials. Rinse the Sub Stratum and replace partly every 12 months.
Add a top layer of biological substrate to the Exo Terra’s Sub Stratum layer for optimal bioactivity and drainage. Plants can be secured in the top layer (eg. Exo Terra’s Plantation Soil) while their roots will thrive in the sub layer of Sub Stratum – resulting in optimal growth.
Additionally, an inorganic layer can be added first for even better drainage (Exo Terra’s BioDrain) to allow excess water to flow through the substrate to avoid saturation and anaerobic bacteria to outcompete the beneficial bacteria in the Sub Stratum substrate. Use the BioDrain Mesh to separate the BioDrain layer from organic matter to penetrate the underlying layer.
Use a top layer of leaf litter to provide dry areas, shelter and dwelling surfaces for all organisms in the terrarium. In the meantime it will prevent evaporation of the underlying layers.
The secret to growing healthy plants begins with the soil. Naturally, healthy soil contains living microorganisms — from bacteria to fungi, protozoa and arthropods. Together they form a choreographed exchange from the recycling of nutrients to the decomposition of organic materials.
By mixing the Sub Stratum with other organic substrates, you enrich any substrate with the required minerals like calcium, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. It also aids in the water retention capacity and provide adequate air supply to the roots.
Only use tap water treated with Aquatize (PT1979) in bioactive planted terrariums to remove heavy metals, chlorine, and chloramines.
The regular use of Turtle Clean (PT1998 or PT1999) to add extra beneficial organisms to the terrarium water will support the biological filtration capabilities.
Ingredients: Natural Volcanic Soil (Andisol), Active Carbon, Live beneficial bacteria (Bacillus)